A baby born on Wednesday night with respiratory distress, whose mother
intentionally delivered her at home, was saved at Wolfson Medical Center in
Holon and is now stable.
The hospital filed a report with the Health
Ministry so it could investigate whether the midwife who was present followed
the rules and had all required equipment with her.
The hospital said the
midwife had to resuscitate the newborn after delivery and then brought both baby
and mother in. The Holon medical center maintains that the necessary equipment
had not been available at the home birth.
Hospital director-general Dr.
Yitzhak Berlovich, a former veteran Health Ministry administrator, said: “We are
shocked each time by situations in which parents make irresponsible decisions
and intentionally endanger their babies and themselves with home births. We are
willing to compromise with parents who insist on natural childbirth, but
deliveries at home by a midwife only are risky,” he said.
Golan, head of Wolfson’s obstetrics/gynecology department, added: “Home births,
without support from professionals ... and suitable technologies, means that the
parents and those who deliver the baby are irresponsible. This is even
more so when hospital delivery rooms make it possible to have a natural birth
there as long as it is taking place safely.”
Dr. David Kahelet, head of
the neonatal department, said: “There is no justification for home births in
Israel, and especially in the center of the country, where it takes a few
minutes by car to arrive [at the hospital]. It may be that the ministry has to
consider intervention and requiring that a neonatologist be easily accessible
until the delivery is successful concluded.”
The ministry, which tries to
discourages home birth despite pressure to allow them without “unnecessary”
limitations, recently issued strict regulations setting down the required
training and experience of midwives, medical equipment and distance from a
hospital for the process to be permitted.